Mold problems haunt New Orleans landlord

Bill Barrios had never experienced mold problems before the tenant of his Uptown New Orleans apartment discovered mold in his rental unit. Barrios’ deluxe rental property sits on an upscale Audubon Park area street, and he’s worked hard to maintain its value. However, even in a well-maintained historic home, mold can rear its ugly head and create serious health damage as well as structural damage.  He knew he needed mold remediation.  

Because Bill is both homeowner and landlord, the problem of mold was compounded. Allowing the problem to grow unchecked would be a health hazard for his tenants as well as a financial hazard. He wanted to do more than mold remediation job. He wanted to ensure that the issue never arose again, but was that even possible in a place as humid as southern Louisiana?

The state’s most licensed mold remediation contractor breaks the mold cycle

Barrios wanted a solution that would allow him to remediate his mold problem as well as preventing future moisture-related issues, so he turned to the moisture- and mold-prevention experts at Sunlight Contractors for a recommendation. As always, Sunlight’s owner Corey Yates began by researching the problem first-hand to tailor a solution to fit Barrios’ needs.

In Barrios’ case, this included taking samples of mold from different areas of the house and sending these to a licensed mold lab for assessment. The test results confirmed that the mold count in Barrios’ rental home was through the roof (and in the roof).

Barrios’ tenant moved out of the house for four days while remediation was underway, and during that time, Corey’s team cold fogged the entire house as part of the mold remediation process to eliminate the mold. The committed experts went so far as to remove every electrical outlet to ensure that mold wasn’t left behind in hidden spaces.

Because most HVAC ductwork runs through attics with wildly fluctuating temperatures, it’s not unusual for moisture to accumulate inside the ducts. As it does, the mold spores can be spread throughout the house through HVAC ventilation. To ensure Barrios’ tenants would be breathing healthy air moving forward, Sunlight hired a duct cleaning and HVAC company with Barrios’ approval.

Once the mold had been eradicated, it was time to introduce healthy ventilation into the home. Corey installed an Aprilaire dehumidification system. The Aprilaire 1850 draws moisture from the air in the Barrios’ home through return ducts, returning dry air back into the home. Though it was installed as a part of Barrios’ total HVAC system, it will continue to dehumidify the air even when the HVAC is off.

With mold out of the picture and healthy air in circulation, Corey’s team turned to the task of preventing the conditions that create most moisture-related problems: fluctuating temperatures and vapor infiltration. Beneath Barrios’ home, the team insulated sweating ductwork and installed 1,600 square feet of Gaco Western closed cell spray foam at a thickness of two inches to the subfloor. By filling voids, gaps, and cavities, the closed cell spray foam insulation stops air flow as well as the flow of vapor through floorboards. Not only will this ensure warmer floors and fewer drafts this winter, but it will also prevent moisture damage and future mold.

To top things off, the team installed 2,080 square feet of Gaco Western Fire Stop 2 open cell spray foam at an average thickness of 5.5 inches in Barrios’ attic, fully covering rafters, top plates, eaves and soffits. Sprayed in layers to the bottom of Barrios’ roof deck, the spray foam seals the perimeter of his ceiling, effectively encapsulating the attic.

While traditional attic insulation options such as fiberglass create an environment conducive to mold formation, open cell spray foam discourages the accumulation of moisture. It also helps to maintain consistent temperatures, preventing condensation, a critical factor in many moldy homes.

With mold gone and temperatures under control, Barrios has a happy tenant again

Barrios can now rent his house in good conscience, knowing that his tenants will be living in a home with a healthy atmosphere. They’ll benefit from the lower utility bills and the increased comfort as well.

What does he have to say about the experience?

“Sunlight offers a variety of services and has the experience, equipment and personnel to solve each of my individual problems and able to affect a permanent solution to the problem. I am extremely impressed with every aspect of this business. The workers on the job are neat, knowledgeable, thoughtful and quality-oriented. I found them to be very competitive in their pricing and eager to get it “right.” This is undoubtedly one of the best businesses I have ever worked with and recommend them without any reservations.”